I know it sounds grumpy to lament the lot of "kids these days," but just as it's perfectly normal to explore porn before you're really old enough to legally do it, it's also normal to color your own experiences with a glimmer of nostalgia. Porn, like summer holidays, often feels like it was more exciting when we were young.

My First Pornographic Experience

The first porn I ever encountered was a book. It looked really innocent sitting there in a drawer. As soon as I opened the pages, I reeled. What's this ... filth? It felt sexual. I could tell by that immediate horny kick that came when I thumbed to the most-read section. Yet, despite the clearly sexual nature of it, none of the things the characters were doing bore much resemblance to what I learned in sex ed class.

It was my first introduction to kink. Coincidentally, it was also my first introduction, barring nudging euphemism, to sex as a fun activity. I'd been taught that sex happened for procreation. When a "Mummy and a Daddy love each other very much" and all that. I was aware, of course, that there were relationships in which people didn't have children, but had you pressed me on the issue, I would have probably guessed that those people just didn't have sex.

When I opened that book, the content exploded out at me. There was page after page of female domination, group sex and mutual masturbation. Each moment screamed at me clearly that sex wasn't just for the purpose of conception. It was for pleasure. Fun. Joy. After the first few times I masturbated over it, and over my years of exploring more erotica, I discovered that sex was for other things, too: power, playfulness, comfort. Relaxation after a long hard day. Cementing of old friendships. Making up after a fight.

Erotica Writers Celebrate World Book Day

Earlier this month, authors from all genres celebrated World Book Day. Children went to school dressed as characters from their favorite books. People shared stories that gave them lots of happy hours when they were younger. Apart from one incredibly ill-judged costume, in which parents of an 11 year old boy let him go to school dressed as Christian Grey, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the day itself left erotica out in the cold.

Yet alongside the general celebration, an intrepid band of sex writers got together to celebrate all that's sexy about books during Erotic World Book Day. They even released a collection of hot short stories to coincide with the day, with the proceeds going to charity.

I don't need to tell you that there's a rapid explosion in mainstream support for erotica writing. While some publishers are still nervous about written-word porn, the rise of self-publishing and smaller e-book publishers has made erotic writing of all descriptions more available than it was 10 years ago.

I am a sucker for books. It is someone else's words pouring straight into your brain and gives you an electric taste of their hottest thoughts and darkest secrets. In fact, I feel sorry for young people these days, for whom "porn" has become synonymous with five minute clips on a video site.

Of course, to each their own. If what gets you going is a no-nonsense plotless shag, then I'm certainly not one to criticize. I'm often in the mood for a quickie. Sometimes there's sexiness in distance...a shag that's no more than a shag. Just two (or three...or twelve) people going at it as hard as they can for the benefit of the discerning viewer. Whether you're a visual person or a words person, I hope you can understand why I want more people to discover great erotica though. It is to read more porn and let the words penetrate you in a way that pictures rarely do.

The Joy of Sexual Discovery

The pure joy of sexual discovery. Those moments of discovery. It's more than knowing what's happening to someone's genitals. It's knowing why it's happening. The effect it has on the individuals. The motivations and the machinations and everything in between.

I'm sure that younger people have their own version. Porn with a great plot or porn stars that they're so into that they get a shiver of lust just from hearing the sound of their name. It is a depth that's achieved by reading Tumblrs and tweets while you're searching for someone's hot scene.

I hope you can forgive me if I cling to my nostalgia even though it's illogical. In their turn, younger generations will cling to what they have during their sexual peak. They may even tell their grandchildren that the future isn't nearly as good as what they experienced. I think it's a way of hiding our jealousy and the envy of anyone who has yet to experience that first illicit discovery. To hold out a book, let it fall open to a well-thumbed page, and lose themselves in those waves of hot surprise.